We surveyed FECs of all shapes and sizes throughout North America to develop a "State of Internet Marketing" to share with the industry. Find out how your FEC compares to others in Internet marketing strategy.
2015 Internet Marketing Survey for Family Entertainment Centers
2015 Internet Marketing Survey
for Family Entertainment
We surveyed Family Entertainment Center (FEC) owners from all over the United
States and Canada from December 1, 2015 through December 23, 2015. Our goal was
to capture data from a wide variety of FECs regarding the current status of their
Our second goal was to compare the data so that other FECs could see where they
stack up against each other, and also break down how FECs as an industry compare to
small businesses in North America.
In this report, you will find a variety of data points and my personal opinions
regarding the state of Internet marketing for the Family Entertainment industry.
- Kevin Ekmark, President/CEO of TrustWorkz
Thanks to our large network and fellow
members of International Association of
Trampoline Parks, IAAPA, Roller
Skating Association International, and
BPAA, we were able to survey a wide
variety of FECs. From trampoline parks
to karting to roller skating rinks.
We were interested to know whether
how owners perceived the value of
Internet marketing over other channels.
Most said that they got the biggest bang
for their buck with the Internet.
FECs of All Types & Marketing Channels
Internet marketing falls on the shoulders
of most owners/operators with 56%
claiming that it is their responsibility for
This would include the actual day to day
tasks of creating content (written, visual,
video) and distributing it through
various web channels such as Facebook
and a company blog.
Agencies and in-house marketers were
the dominant marketing leaders outside
of ownership. Most FECs do not put
their marketing in the hands of their
hourly staff members.
Owners Who Manage Marketing
There was a clear split between owners
who were responsible for their own
Internet marketing that thought they
had a handle on it versus needing help or
being ready to delegate the tasks to
Roller skating centers made up the
largest percentage of owners managing
their own marketing and most felt as if
they had a handle on it.
Those that managed their own
marketing were 91% more likely to not
measure or understand their marketing
Are Owners Successful?
Do FEC owners believe that Internet
marketing is the real deal? According to
our survey, 88.6% believe that Internet
marketing is more important today than
anytime in the past.
We can assume that because Internet
marketing is believed to be more
important today, owners are more
interested in learning about its
capabilities more than ever.
How Important Is It?
According to a BrightLocal study from
early 2015, most SMBs will spend less
than $500/month on marketing.
However, that data varies on company
size. According to their data, SMBs
within the range of 3 to 50+ spend $863
to $3,261 per month on marketing. **
Using their data, we found that nearly
half of FECs surveyed were under
spending on their total monthly
marketing when compared to other local
CMOs expect digital marketing spend to
make up at least 75% of their budget
within the next five years. ***
When we compared total marketing
spend to Internet marketing spend
within our data, we saw a disconnect
with that prediction for FECs..
Part of the reason for most FECs
investing less in digital is due to high
marketing costs associated with print
media and television. Both mediums are
considered to have lower ROIs and
higher costs than Internet marketing.
Owners that “strongly agree” or “agree”
with the statement, “We are successful
with Internet marketing”, were also
more likely to have an in-house marketer
or agency working for their FEC.
FEC owners that managed their own
Internet marketing (without the help of
staff) were more likely to feel neutral
about the statement or disagree
Does Internet Marketing Work?
A major challenge for many FECs is that they
simply aren’t tracking their results. Owners
that were unsure or were not tracking at all
were most likely to be managing their
marketing on their own.
The most educated owners regarding their
results delegate their Internet marketing to in-
house marketers or agencies. Owners that
tracked their results also “strongly agreed”
that they saw results from Internet marketing.
and 80% understood how those results related
to their bottom line. Additionally, they were
more likely to dedicate a larger portion of
their total marketing budget to Internet
Are You Sure It Works?
Most FECs target the same four age groups
with their marketing. Trampoline parks and
both indoor and outdoor kart tracks are more
likely to target young adults.
The 2nd largest target market, behind
Millennials, was the under 18 age group. This
was a considerable amount of marketing
dedicated to targeting a group with the lowest
disposable income. However, this age group has
twice the amount of brand conversations per
week as adults. ****
My suggestion is to target mom and dad, but
do not neglect the influential under 18 group.
Who Do FECs Target?
The FEC Marketing Toolkit
Facebook is a clear favorite. However, most FECs are missing opportunities
with search engines and paid advertising.
TrustWorkz decided to only build mobile friendly
websites since April 2012, when Google and Bing
both came out in support of the mobile responsive
It took almost 4 years, but it appears as if most
FECs believe that mobile web design is important
for their business.
According to Party Center Software, around 54%
of parties booked on their online booking are
made from a mobile device. Our analytics reflect
that the average FEC receives 70% or more of their
website traffic from a smartphone. Mobile cannot
Has Mobile Finally Gone Mainstream?
During a webinar in 2014, we presented what
mobile friendly design was for websites and party
booking, and we quized the attendees before and
after about whether they had a mobile friendly
website or not.
Before we began, 67% believed that their website
was mobile friendly. After the webinar, attendees
changed their mind. By the end of the webinar,
70% now believed that their website was not
mobile friendly. *****
While most FECs that we surveyed believe that
they are mobile friendly, we actually found that
many still were not, which is why we believe this is
inaccurate due to surveyors not understanding
mobile friendliness 100%.
But Are They Mobile Friendly?
The State of Internet Marketing for FECs
It’s clear that FECs believe that Internet marketing is a valuable place to invest their marketing dollars.
However, nearly half of all FECs are struggling to find their way through the marketing forrest. There is also a
clear connection between owners that delegate marketing work to in-house or agencies and their Internet
FECs utilizing agencies and in-house marketing experts have a better understanding of their results and how
they tie into the bottom line for their business. They typically allocate a larger piece of their marketing budget
to digital as well.
As the Internet continues to evolve, more technology and channels demand expert marketers to help pull levers.
FECs that can find a solution to keeping up with marketing in 2016 will also begin to develop a more successful
and well balanced marketing strategy which includes social media, SEO, and paid advertising.